Warring Factions Sign Peace Agreement, Pledge to Release Political Prisoners

Association

On 12th September 2018, warring parties in South Sudan signed the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). The agreement outlines, among other measures, a permanent ceasefire, a special fund for reconstruction, and more importantly a path forward for the long-overdue operationalisation of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

Despite the ceasefire, civil society organisations have noted that violations continue to occur as the warring parties failed to observe the ceasefire across the country.

A UN report released in late October 2018 documented targeted attacks against some 900 civilians, including the abduction of young women to be given as brides to soldiers. A similar report released by Amnesty International in September accuses government soldiers of several crimes against humanity, including mass rape and torture of civilians since April 2018.

On 25th October 2018, the government announced that it would release five political prisoners. While the R-ARCSS stipulates the release of several key rebel leaders, none of the five appear to be high-ranking rebel officials. On 20th October 2018, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated the release of 24 people detained in relation to the conflict.